The spring and early summer are both times when children tend to be out on their bikes more often. This is also the time of year when drivers may not yet be used to looking for cyclists, especially younger cyclists who may not be in the normal positions around the road.
If your children enjoy riding their bikes, now is a great time to sit down with them and talk about the rules that apply to them in Denver.
Can my children ride on the sidewalk?
Many parents ask if their children may ride their bikes on the sidewalk but the answer is usually no. Bikes are not allowed on Denver sidewalks unless:
- The sidewalk is a part of a bike route
- The rider is within a block of their home
- The rider is delivering the newspaper to people along the route
So, if your children stay close to home and ride on the sidewalk, it is probably fine, but for longer distances? The road is where they should be riding.
Is it safe for children to ride on the road?
It isn’t particularly safe for kids to ride on the road unless they understand how to do so safely. Fortunately, Denver does have many bike lanes, so you should talk to your children about using those lanes. You should also go over basic traffic rules with them, such as how to make a turn signal with one arm and how to look for oncoming traffic before crossing the road.
For the most part, no one is going to complain about a child riding on a sidewalk, but it is a good habit to get into to talk to your child about roadway safety and how to ride their bike where they’ll need to ride as they get older.
Drivers are not always watching for children and may cause a serious crash, so make sure your child knows to wear a helmet and how to stay alert. Take the route with them in advance to see if you think it’s safe enough or not, and, if you’re not sure about the safety of the route, consider asking them to walk their bike on the sidewalk until they get to a bike path or other safe route.